A deep bay that has served as an important port since Mexico’s colonial period, Acapulco de Juárez in Guerrero is the queen of the country’s beach resorts. Called the “Pearl of the Pacific” during its glory days when celebrities like Elvis Presley, Elizabeth Taylor and Frank Sinatra flocked to its beaches, Acapulco continues to offer the same charm and lively atmosphere among world-class botanical gardens, gorgeous cliff-side restaurants, secluded beaches, an active nightlife and inventive food scene. Whether you travel to Acapulco on a private chartered flight for a relaxing escape, to snag a great deal on jewelry, or to dine at midnight before dancing ‘til dawn, you’ll find yourself planning your next trip to the “Paradise of the Americas” before your plane takes off for home.
The entertainment and recreational activities in Acapulco are endless, from visiting charming nearby towns to enjoying the entertainment at a poolside cocktail party. Among the most popular attractions are those that involve water and harrowing feats.
La Quebrada Cliff Divers
When you venture to the southern peninsula, just up the hill from Old Acapulco, you’ll find La Quebrada and its legendary divers. The cliff-diving tradition began in the 1930s when young men began competing against each other to see who would dive from the highest point into the waters below. In 1934, members of the group formed Clavadistas de la Quebrada (La Quebrada Divers).
Today, professional divers plunge from heights of up to 115 feet into the Gulch, whose waters are 6 to 16 feet deep, depending on the tide and size of the waves. Timing is everything. During the last show of the day evening, divers drop head-first into the water while hold torches. The best place to catch the daily shows is at La Perla restaurant in El Mirador hotel. Ask your concierge to secure tickets on your behalf.
After witnessing the great heights of La Quebrada cliffs, discover the depths of Acapulco’s waters The area’s wrecks, drifts, caves and underwater shrines provide endless possibilities to explore. The best time of year to dive is from November to May when the waters are warmer, calmer, and offer the best visibility. This is also the time of year when you’re more likely to spot migrating humpback whales or massive whale sharks. Acapulco’s dive sites sit at extremes—easy or advanced. Because of the strong surges and heavy currents at some locations, you should only navigate them if you have an advanced scuba certification and experience in open waters, drifts and currents. Acapulco Scuba leads dive excursions for beginners and certified scuba divers alike. Or, rent a private yacht with a guide from Fish-R-Us.
The Rio de la Plata dive spot features the namesake Italian ship that sunk in 1944 in the middle of the bay. Resting 45 feet below the water, the ship remains in decent condition.
If you’re into caverns, head to Las Cuevas (The Caves) to check out the interesting rock formations and sea life. Bufadero is another popular dive site for its beauty and large rock formations. Only accessible when the waters are calm, explore the maze-like canyons at the Labyrinth dive site.
Los Bajos de la Quebrada (Depths of La Quebrada), a large rock formation at La Quebrada cliffs, reaches depths of up to 150 feet. When visibility is good, you can see large schools of fish, octopus, balloonfish and green muray eels. If you’re lucky, you may also see humpback whales and docile whale sharks. El Guano near La Roqueta is another great site to find whales and whale sharks, as well as barracudas, eels and manta rays.
Among the most beautiful dive spots is El Jardin (The Garden). Here, you’ll see a variety of rays, turtles, balloon fish, scorpionfish, surgeonfish, eels, barberfish, and starfish.